Timbernation Platform Problems


I recently bought a 19" x 19" x 2" maple platform from Timbernation. The plan was to use this platform with my Zoethecus amp stand for supporting my ARC Ref110 amp. When I received maple platform one of the sides was not properly planed down. The surface is irregular and rough. I will try to post a photo or two soon. 

When I contacted Mariah at Timbernation via email here is the response I received: "I showed Chris the pics and he said that it will fit into your stand just fine. Did you try it yet? You will be able to put the unfinished side down into your stand and the finished side will be facing up." 

I expected a maple block that was of high quality and not one that has significant imperfections on one side. Has anyone had any similar experiences with Timbernation? Should I just accept this? Any input or advise is appreciated.
Ag insider logo xs@2xpilrem
You should have looked at Symposium although its not wood it sounds and looks much better. Good luck though!!
Send it back. If you paid by credit card, dispute the charge.
Unless it was sold/stated as a "b-stock" or imperfect item, then they really should replace it.
I had the same thing happen 10 or 12 years ago. I had to send the whole order back. I didn’t do that again.
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Update. I received an email from Chris offering to do whatever I wanted to address the situation. I was happy with the response and I appreciate the customer service. 

I am now a happy customer.
$300 will buy a lot more isolation than a piece of maple wood provides. I'm mystified by their popularity.
You got that right, Bubba. I just did a customer’s entire system for less than $250.
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They are popular because there is an intrinsic feel of "it" if it's correct for the application. And to a certain point they do work. That's all I know. That's also why companies like "MapleShade" are in business. Besides, have you ever tried asking for a 18" x 18" solid piece of hard Maple 4" thick at any lumberyard? Some of the looks I received were astounding.
    I recently needed to have a four piece "base" set made for my line-source speakers. I ended up paying over $1000 for the raw slab with the bark still on it to get the size I needed. The prices for tonewoods of that size are ridiculous. Fortunately I live close to P.R.S. guitars. A factory that uses allot of large wood slab So I Bought some that was earmarked for them. Shipping costs would have made what I accomplished infeasible.
You got screwed with a crap build piece....bottom line.
Go get it replaced or returned with a refund.

i bought mine from MAPLESHADE thst was fully finished (planed, sanded, and varnished) on ALL sides , as one would expect.
An inexpensive alternative to wood is Bluestone, a granite-like outdoor paving stone sold at many Home Depot stores. The advantages/physical characteristics of Bluestone are extreme hardness, very high mass and extreme stiffness. I suggest a size of 18x18x2. Mount the Bluestone on your favorite cones. Voila!
Easy boys! Everything is being taken care of and there was a logical and reasonable explanation on how this happened. The block was about $150 and not $300 like i read...

Remember that this board is dropped into my Zoethecus and is used for my amp. 

" I expected a maple block that was of high quality and not one that has significant imperfections on one side ..... Should I just accept this?"

"Should I just accept this?"  Better question is why would you accept this or even contemplate doing so. 


Update. I received an email from Chris offering to do whatever I wanted to address the situation. I was happy with the response and I appreciate the customer service.
I am now a happy customer.
Glad things worked out for you. This is about expectation management.  I certainly understand why Timbernation would assume one finished side would be sufficient for your needs - this is not uncommon with platforms.  I made some beautiful white quartersawn oak platforms for my monoblocks.   They are finished on 5 sides with only some laquer on the bottom to mitigate moisture absorption.  I never considered the need to finish the bottoms.  However, if you expected both sides to be finished I understand your disappointment.

The unfortunate thing here is that you chose to post this publicly with the word "Problems" in the title next to the manufacturer's name, which prompted a few folks to cry foul over a simple miscommunication.  Timbernation missed an opportunity for better communication with their initial email response and have paid with bad publicity.   Either side here could have avoided the problem by picking up the phone.


Timbernation has long history of disgruntled customers. This is only the tip of the iceberg. I’m not sure if it all started with the tragic death of his daughter in an auto accident 15 years ago, but that probably didn’t help. In any case he seems to be oblivious to these continuing issues, some much worse.
i've order a rack and speaker stands from Chris and all went well, except for the speaker stands which took a couple of calls to get it done, but the work was finished on all sides and well made.

What I do now is to get ahold of a local carpenter that I searched out online and his work and prices simply can't be beat. There are many talented craftsmen out there so just employ google and do the necessary due diligence and you will find someone who can meet your needs.

All the best,
Nonoise
Timbernation has long history of disgruntled customers.
That may or may not be true Geoff but are you sure he didn't go through a rough patch and then turn things around?  Either way, he doesn't need you to throw out a "blanket statement" that hurts his business.  Not putting a final finish on the bottom of a platform is hardly an unusual practice. This case was simply a lack of effective communication from both sides, and at worst errors of omission not commission.  
I have an order in right now and hope it turns out well. Surprised to hear some of the negative past experiences as I don’t see these in his feedback for the most part. Nothing negative over the past 9 years. 
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Oh, they (negative comments) are out there, alright. Try searching archives at Audio Asylum, for example. You’ll get an earful.
I haven’t bought anything from timbernation yet, Looked him up and read all the negative comments too...
apparently at the time he had a Major disaster in his family which made him collapse, but after some time he came out of it and satisfied his customers.
If what I read was correct, then the guy doesn’t deserve all this negative stuff a dozen years later.
Just give him a break, specially since OP states he was contacted with a promise to do him right...
Actually his problems were there before his family tragedy, the death of his daughter in a R accident in Florida which if I recall correctly was 12 years ago, and continue to this day. Sorry to disagree. And I don’t wish to belittle the tragedy at all. But it appears he used the accident as an excuse for quite a long while. Everyone deserves a break, but come on!
Again, no negative feedback given on this site in over 9 years. All positive with no neutrals even. We owe the community, Agon community, to post negative feedback on sellers if they deserve it. Those having negative experiences with this seller did not post it here over the last 9 years. The seller has several listings now and continues to receive nothing but positive feedback on this site. He is certainly pleasing many Audiogon members and they are leaving feedback. 
Hi, there. They don’t post negative feedback here. Search this site for “Timbernation” using the Search magnifying glass symbol at top of page. You might be surprised. There is adverse information all over the internet, AA and elsewhere, if your ‘re so inclined. Much of it fairly recent including the OP. As I said I don’t wish to belabor the point or dismiss his personal tragedy. I can track a blue tail fly up a hound dog’ nose.
I have read all of that. I am not defending the seller, but stating the facts on this site. Buyers need to post negative feedback on sellers that deserve and it may not be happening here. Bad on the buyers. Also, the seller may be pleasing far more than the handful who have posted negative comments. Seems this may also be true.
Most likely he’s more pleasing when the stakes are very high. Not so much when the stakes are relatively low. If I had to guess I’d say it’s his attitude that I object to most. He sent me a bunch of junk boards about the time his daughter died. Not even usable, complete junk. Exactly what folks have been complaining about all along. I get the distinct impression it’s beneath him. The $500 Tables he seems to do better on.
That may be going on here.  
@geoffkait "Timbernation has long history of disgruntled customers."

I've never dealt with the company, and for that very reason.  Many threads over the years regarding the complaints against this outfit have come up.  When I saw this thread sitting here my first thought was, oh boy, another one?

I guess the owner mostly gets it right, as he's kept up the operation for a long time.  But he's obviously gone through several periods where things go mostly (and very) wrong.  And these are not the onesies and twosies most companies encounter.  Folks seem to like the product all in all, but for me, I've read too much to go near it
Agreed; I’ve been around audio forums for several years and this one pops up every couple years. Buyers beware. Also there are much more high tech isolation options available today, many of which look far better than large blocks of wood.
Over the years four maple platforms here, never a problem.
You can add me to the disgruntled list.  I purchased  a 24 x 18 x 4 maple platform, finished with a varnish and when I received it, there were runs on the sides of it and a big ugly knothole that was cut through on one of the sides.  Pieces of the knothole kept falling out.  Shame on me for not complaining to Chris about it.  I tried painting it black laquer to cover the knothole but that's another  story in itself.  It is now sitting in the closet, 300.00+ wasted.
Did you post negative feedback? If not, then how will the rest of us know how poor this business is? I will report back later today once I receive the platforms I ordered last week. I would have not ordered them if the seller had all kinds of negative feedback over the last nine years.  I looked and it was all positive over the last nine years! 
I should of said I ordered them on the 9th of February. Seems at best this guy’s work is inconsistent.  Sometimes great, sometimes fair and sometimes poor.  
@grannyring Hoping your order falls into the great category.  Fingers crossed...
My family have ordered (7+) from Chris over the years without issues.  Currently have an order in for a rack and just got status scheduled to ship this Friday.
My platforms came in today. They are Walnut and placed under my speakers. They look flawless. Actually very well done. Most satisfied.
Bill...glad to hear that everything went well.  What speakers did you end up getting?
Living Voice RW OBX.  Check out the Vitual System for details.  
Hi Pilrem, just had a similar situation with Timbernation. I ordered an 18X22X2 inch platform for a VPI Prime table, when it arrived I observed similar issues. Unfinished side, obvious seam joints, blotchy finish, a gouge  and 1 3/4” thickness. This was the second platform I had purchased from Timbernation, the first platform purchased last year was flawless. After speaking to Mariah and sending pics, they sent a return label which was used to return the platform. Two weeks after returning, I recieved the replacement, which as it turns out was the returned platform only refinished. The gouge was still present along with some blotchy finish on the bottom. Good enough to use but still some disappointment given their price point.
I am a happy customer, got a custom stand 4 levels for my PS Audio Stack and I enjoyed the quality. Yes, my top side is better polished, but the bottom side is invisible. I literally had to look it from the bottom of my stack to notice it. 

So yes there may be much better quality racks at $8k but mine was $1,500 with heavy wood, cones etc.

It's a year since I got the rack and it has no problems with coloration, wood, cones etc. 

Would I buy again from Timbernation? Yes, I am. 

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I have bought several platforms from Timber Nation with no issues.  Quality is first rate. Mapleshade is too expensive for me. 
@d2girls - shipping is included in their pricing
In the past 12 months I have purchased a 4 shelf "custom" stand as well as 5 individual platforms....never had an issue.  Well made, well finished and packaged very well for shipping which is included in the price.   I would not hesitate to order from Chris and company in the future.
I have 3 pieces from Chris, I bought unfinished. Two were walnut, and 1 was maple for my amps.I just ordered 1 more 3inch by 15x18 they were flawless..
I build custom furniture for a living (and the occasional audio rack). Most of us craftsmen price our work honestly, only accounting for our time, after materials, which means one thing. You get what you pay for.

Take for example, the maple for a double wide, 3 shelf rack probably runs Chris $350-500, which means he’s making maybe $~900 in profit. Subtract freight shipping, and finishes, and you’re at $600-700. For a business owner with the overhead of a small shop, that’s maybe 3 days work.

Now, I could build you an audio rack in 3 days, and I can tell you it would be more utilitarian, than a beautiful piece of furniture. There simply isn’t enough time in 3 days, to take 85 bd/ft of rough maple and turn it into a finished audio rack, unless you forgo quality, and details.

As simple as the design is, it still takes an immense amount of time. The maple needs to be jointed and surfaced on 4 sides, glued up (allow 24h for the glue to set), then trimmed down to the final size. Then account for sanding everything, through 4 grits. Then begin work on the uprights, again, surfacing down the 4 sides, then notching out a nice tight fit for each shelf, then partial assembly, drilling the holes for the bolts, ensuring they all stay centered. After this, you usually begin the finish work, chamfering edges, double-checking for accidental nicks (which are steamed out), and ensuring there are no sanding swirls. Only then can you begin to apply the finish, which is a whole process on it’s own.

Most of these processes can be rushed, but then your work shows it.

If you want to spend $1300 on an audio rack, you’re going to get an audio rack made in 3 days. Personally, I charge for an extra 3-4 days work for a similar rack, and take the time to make it right. Both me and Chris probably make similar hourly, but it’s up to you to decide which you want to pay for.
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I am very fortunate that I was able to assist in building my own maple rack. A friend of mine is a high end wood worker. He did all the "smart" stuff and I did all the "dumb" stuff like sanding and drilling. I will echo stewartlangwoodworks, quality takes a long time. All of my top and side finishes were a 7 step sanding process by hand. The bottoms were sanded to 120 grit. All surfaces must be coated with varnish to control the warping of the wood. If you choose to purchase your own wood, don't go to a lumber yard, they sell lumber (as in dimensional) you need to seek out a hardwood supplier that sells wood for furniture making. I was very fortunate to have an Amish sawmill close by and was able to purchase rough cut, live edge maple for a fraction of the price of a regular wood supplier. I couldn't be happier with my four shelf solid maple rack. It took most of the winter but we only worked on weekends.